Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wrapping up the holidays

No pun intended with that post title... at least I don't think there was.

But as I was MIA with the blog over the holidays I figured I at least needed to stop by and wrap things up.

As expected, the holidays were stressful - shopping, shipping, meeting expectations, closing out the year, dealing with family - so in many ways I'm glad they're over. Although I did enjoy the extra days off, even if I didn't always get to spend them quite how I wanted.

I spent a bit more than I wanted to - shopping for gifts, shipping said gifts - but I think those who received the gifts that I sent very much enjoyed them. So the extra cash spent was worth it.

I didn't receive very many gifts - which made me very, very happy. My guy and I set a limit and he stuck to it. I got a gift I very much wanted, needed, and am using daily (an updated Apple TV). I also received a couple gift certificates (also wanted) although the unused one is burning a hole in my pocket and the one I used ended up costing me a bit more out-of-pocket. But it was also worth it as I was able to get a much needed fitted sheet, bath mat, and a book I know I'll enjoy reading and eventually pass along.

So my home is not inundated with new stuff to stress over. Maybe one or two things I received as gifts from others that I'm not sure what to do with. But I'll figure that out over the next few months.

I'd hoped to spend those extra days off finally making decisions about all of those things I'd been delaying a decision on. But once again it didn't quite work out as planned. (Not at all surprised.) Though I should be happy that I did "purge" quite a few less difficult items that I'd been hemming and hawing over. And while I don't feel "lighter" without them yet, I know I will start to when I don't have to lift up the extra plastic storage box to get to what I need and I don't have to find a way to cram the lid down on one that may be a little too full.

The holidays weren't all joy and sunshine and fun so I did mentally fall apart one day and start to put together a mental list of various items I just HAD TO HAVE that would make me feel SO MUCH BETTER. I was so close to pressing that "click to buy" button on two of my "MUST HAVE NOWs." But somehow I refrained. And while I think that someday I would like to have one of those things to replace something I own that I don't like quite as much, that day is not today, tomorrow, or in the near future.

So I think I've made some progress in my quest for minimal.

And I did end up purchasing a couple items that may not have been 100% necessary. But after two very cold days out on the water I added a pair of full-fingered gloves to my sailing gear and a fleece mid-layer zip-up. (Full binge/purge "holiday" list to come.)

I had some memorable experiences - sailing in wind, rain, fog, saw family, spent time with my guy and my cat. I read a few great books. I wasted much time on bad films, worse television, and forgettable meals. And I spent way too much time stressing.

Over work. Over health. Over loved ones' health. Over money. Over my new and excessively noisy neighbor.

Which makes me think that if I were one to have New Years Resolutions, I should add some type of meditation to the list. Because sleepless nights don't add value to my life. They don't make for clear decision-making. And I don't enjoy not sleeping - unless it's for "fun" reasons like night sailing.

So as I work further toward achieving my goal of minimal, I am going to investigate how I can incorporate meditation into my life.

To be continued...

(Oh, and I also re-watched my iTunes copy of the documentary Minimalism, which really helped to quiet the brewing storm over New Years' weekend. And it also sparked some debate with my guy who is a bit more wary about the idea of minimalism, who does not at all believe that anyone "goes tiny" for more than a second, and who thinks much of minimalism's tenets are obvious and no brainers - to which I pointed out that they may be so for him, but not so for me. So a definitely valuable way to spend my time.)